Pelicans were once considered to be very magical and powerful birds. Contrary to some beliefs they do not store fish in their bills, they simply use their bills to scoop fish up. Should Pelican be a bird that is crossing your path it may be prudent to reflect on how that may provide you with some insight into your own behaviour. Are you one who stores anything you do not really need to be storing? Are you using what you already have? Are you digesting that which you are given or are you storing it? There was once a story told of how a Pelican harmed its own breast with its bill in order to feed its own blood to its young. This is where the unselfish self-sacrifice symbolised in this bird has come from and it also contains a Christian connotation.
Pelicans always make room for others of their kind and will nest in such a way that there is room for all. They also work together when fishing. As a team they manoeuvre fish into shallower water so all may enjoy a meal.
Pelicans are very large birds and whilst they appear heavy due to their size they float exceptionally well and are buoyant. Often they will descend into the water from a great height at speed and then magically pop up on the surface of the water. Air sacs which are located under their skin assist them to do this and they are totally unsinkable due to those air sacs.
These birds speak to us of the ability to bounce back, become buoyant ourselves and to rest regardless of what may appear to be the weight of life circumstances. Pelican teaches us that no matter how heavy or difficult some situations may be in our lives and no matter how deeply we plunge or fall we are all able to rise to the surface again. Their medicine is that of knowing how to rise above life’s trials and tribulations. Another story about Pelican speaks of how they once lived in the desert and they adapted by feeding upon Snakes. Whilst they may appear to have difficulty taking off at times from the water they succeed and this relates to us having the ability to free ourselves from emotions that might otherwise weigh us down. Pelican medicine is also showing us how we can avoid being overcome by our emotions to the point they debilitate us.
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© C. O’Connor 5 August 2015.